English: Natsume's Book of Friends
Synonyms: Natsume Yujincho
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 8, 2008 to Sep 30, 2008
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.451 (scored by 51944 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisSince he was young, a teenage boy named Natsume Takashi has been able to see youkai, but keeping this ability a secret has now become a heavy burden for him and has made his life difficult.
This begins to change when Takashi inherits his grandmother's "Book of Friends." He discovers that she, Natsume Reiko, shared the same ability as him and starts to understand why he was always targeted by both good and bad youkai.
After learning the true meaning behind the Book of Friends, which allows him to manipulate the spirits listed within its pages, Natsume undertakes a journey with his bodyguard, the infamous spirit Madara, to free the spirits of their contracts with Reiko.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Related AnimeAdaptation: Natsume Yuujinchou
Sequel: Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou
Characters & Voice Actors
I've been looking forward to this anime ever since I saw one of the promotional images -- Natsume sitting on a tree branch with his foot slightly touching the water underneath, and an unusual looking cat by his side. I fell in love with that image alone and could not stop thinking about it. Needless to say, I watched Natsume Yuujinchou while it was still ongoing and waited eagerly for the subtitles to come out. Now that it's over, I can say for sure -- it was a short but beautiful experience, and became one of my very special personal favorites.
"Thank you... for not growing to hate humans."
Each episode Natsume encounters a different youkai. Sometimes, it's a youkai seeking to get his/her name back; at other times, a youkai wanting some other help from Natsume, which he can never refuse.
As much as those stories revolve around youkai, Natsume Yuujinchou is ultimately about humans. It focuses on the bonds between humans, as well as the bonds between humans and youkai.
Each story is very well thought out and carries a deep message that Natsume derives from his encounters. Reasons why Natsume cannot let go of his bond with youkai, reasons why youkai fall in love with humans; Natsume Yuujinchou is a collection of beautiful bittersweet pieces of a not very ordinary every day life. Each piece left me with a somewhat sad but warm feeling and made me go back to re-watch and think upon it again and again.
Natsume Yuujinchou is full of unique personalities. Natsume does not help youkai just because he has nothing better to do. His bond with the beings of the other world is very deep and is explored in great detail. From a boy who was forced to shut himself off from nearly all humans, Natsume grows to trust humans again and shares his experiences with others. Seemingly eager for nothing more than obtaining the Book of Friends, Madara is also not that simple of a character. With time, he becomes attached to Natsume and, despite his own constant contradictions, appears to worry more about his companion than the actual book.
Youkai are also very interesting. Although most of them appear only in their assigned episode, each one is very memorable, and their personalities and inner troubles are so well thought out that it's hard to believe that they were really present for only twenty minutes.
The artwork is beautiful. It may seem rather simple, but it couldn't be more perfect for this anime. In fact, the simplicity of it is what makes it truly stunning for me. It greatly enhances the story and the atmosphere with its warm colors and memorable designs. Also, every time a scene of Natsume returning youkai's name is shown, I fall in love with this anime all over again; it almost makes me feel his breath as he blows out the letters from the page.
After the very first episode, I fell in love with both opening and ending songs. Like the artwork, the soundtrack is beautiful in its simplicity and fits Natsume Yuujinchou's atmosphere perfectly. It's the kind of music that probably would not feel the same or as special outside of the actual anime, but combined with the rest of the aspects, it becomes a wonderful soundtrack.
What more can I say? I fell completely in love with this anime. If you want something relaxing and heartwarming, Natsume Yuujinchou is for you. read more
Natsume Yuujinchou is possibly the most powerful, thought-provoking anime I've ever seen. The amount of emotions you'll experience is nothing short of incredible, especially when you consider the anime's 13 episode length.
Pity, anger, sorrow, astonishment, and absolute elation are to name a few.
And some tears on the side...Manly tears, obviously.
Natsume Yuujinchou is episodic, there is no defining plot line. The most common, unifying theme is Natsume's ultimate goal to return all the Youkai names that his Grandmother Reiko took and stored in the Book of Friends. The episodes range from various Youkai simply wanting their names back, to far more complex issues such as lonely spirits longing for companionship, desperate to relive the memories that are so precious to them.
Each episode is wrapped up so masterfully, so beautifully, that it's nearly impossible to not spend the next few moments contemplating what you've just seen. The messages and lessons conveyed are just as pertinent as they are meaningful. At some point in everyone's life, there will be something (a problem, ability, anything) that they feel is impossible to talk about, that no one can relate. As Natsume Yuujinchou illustrates, isolation is rarely the answer, and through purposeful human (and maybe not so human) interactions, inner peace can be achieved.
The art in Natsume Yuujinchou is phenomenal, depicting a gorgeous countryside town. Each aspect of the landscape is drawn with amazing attention to detail, the large plains of grass not just being lush green, but also golden, with a few shades of light red. The bodies of water are drawn to ripple realistically with the hustling and bustling of fish (and water-related Youkai). The light from the sun pours through the openings of the trees in a divine manner. The human characters are drawn with that middle of the road style of animation, where they aren't too realistic but they also aren't too cartoonish, too cartoonish being enormous eyes, no visible nose, etc. Youkai are drawn in almost every way imaginable, the sky was the limit in creating these spirits as each episode continuously provides unique designs. The artwork never falters, and remains beautiful at every attempt made, from fireworks in the night sky, to majestic, elegant Youkai.
I fell in love with the opening song upon first listen. Without thinking about it, I always found myself singing along, the tempo getting faster and faster, my excitement growing more and more. This opening is truly the perfect fit for Natsume Yuujinchou, as it is expressive of my anticipation for the upcoming episode. This was the same case with the end song, perfectly fitting, as it always sums up the current episode, allowing you to become engrossed in your own thoughts. The almost nostalgic way the music starts quietly playing right before the end of the episode, a slightly melancholic acoustic guitar chimes in, and emotions begin to overflow. A memorable end for an unforgettable anime.
Most of the Youkai encountered are, aside from the general superiority complex over humans, very different. Their personalities are what keeps the show fresh. A Youkai that first appears to be nothing but malicious may actually have a much more complicated character, though that isn't to say there are no instances of purely malevolent Youkai.
Despite that superiority complex, most of the Youkai do in fact have human tendencies. Love, loneliness, and real bonds of friendship are all things that Youkai are not entirely devoid of. It becomes obvious that, despite differences in appearence, powers, and social norms, humans and Youkai aren't so different...
This is an anime that is enjoyable from start to finish, and as someone who is more prone to believe in the existence of the supernatural, I was enthralled. From now on, I'll think twice about those moments where a cold chill overcomes you, or when a blast of wind hits you on a relatively calm day.
This show is a fantasy masterpiece. If you're in the mood to cry tears of happiness (manly tears, naturally) or just see a great show, then this is a must watch.
"I can hear the footsteps of Winter, the cold night...But, this place is warm" read more
Both of the main characters can see spirits. Both series are episodic, they can be watched in almost any order. Both have a lot of drama packed into these short stories.
Deals with the supernatural and very episodic. Has the same calm, bittersweet atmosphere at the end.
Though the two have their differences, both are about a main character who can see something others can't, and strives to help them. Also, both stories have a certain almost laid-back atmosphere to them. Natsume Yuujinchou, however, has more of a plot than Mushishi, as well as supporting characters that stay for more than one episode.
If you liked Mushishi I believe you'll most definitely enjoy Natsume Yuujinchou. :) I could see similarities right off the bat, in how they both deal with spirits or other supernatural creatures. Both main characters have a sense of compassion when interacting with these entities, and often will try to find the least violent method of solution. Also, both series are episodic, yet it's a style that suits them well. The day-to-day solving of problems has a relaxing sort of mood in both series, and I think they complement each other nicely.
natsume yuujinchou is a watered-down cross between xxxholic and mushishi
Both deal with things that can only be seem by few people. Both have the main character helping someone in which only they could provide assistance. Each episode is about a different spirit/mushi.
Spirits are all around us, but only some have the gift to see them. Both series are somewhat episodic, revolving around human interactions with spirits, as well as with each other.
Both are calm, slice-of-life-ish series that deal with the supernatural (youkai/mushi) in one- or two-episode arcs and have protagonists who are quiet and standoffish as a result of their abilities to deal with the supernatural.
They both have a similar theme.
Although not similar in the aspect of Japanese Youkai, Mushishi still has good Japanese environments and the obvious feature of spirits that can only seen by certain people. Not many blatant parallels can be made between the two, though there's a high chance that anyone who likes Natsume Yuujin-Chou will like Mushishi.
If you liked Mushishi, you'll probably like Natsume Yuujinchou too. Each episode is a seperate story, and involves with spirits. The artwork of both of the series are soft colors and a pleasure to watch. Mushishi uses earthtones and Natsume Yuujinchou soft pastels though.
Both wonderfully soothing atmospheric slice-of-life series involving male protagonists with the uncommon ability to see spirits. In the course of these episodic stories, we learn that these spirits are neither good nor evil, that they simply exist - a message both shows seem to reinforce. Mushishi tends to be more dramatic, whereas Natsume Yuujinchou carries more of a comedic touch.
You'll surely notice since first episode how much those two anime are very similar to eachother.
- Main character: a quiet, good and mature guy (Natsume and Ginko) which has to deal in his own way with spirits/mushi. They both care abouth the spirits and always tried to do everything to help them and not let people thinking that they are to be considered as "evil".
- Atmosphere: colors, art, music, design will let you fully love the litterally pureness of those anime. The atmosphere is very calm and "delicated".
Personally i think that both, Mushishi and Natsume Yuujinchou, are two masterpieces which you can't miss to watch, especially if you already enjoyed one of the two!
Both anime have a calming atmosphere and tells the story of someone with a special ability as they learn to live with the supernatural.
Except for the basic plot: odd things that only some people can see but still can affect many, the main characters are extemely siimilar. They are both easy-going, adorable guys that will try to do whats best depending on the situation rather than some idea that all unknown creatures are evil and needs to be exterminated.
Both series are slow paced, and are focused on youkai, with standalone episodes. Natsume yuujinchou is lighter than Mushishi though.
Beautiful episodic tales surrounding the interaction between spirits and humans with a single mature and introspective male protagonist holding the thread between episodes.
Mushishi focuses more on japanesse folklore tales in a rural fudal setting and its more moral driven, whetheras Nastume Yuujinchou is more quaint and simple, following a school boy and his spirit relationships.
Mushihi's drama is more than Natsume Yuujinchou even though both they relax u a lot :) Both anime's story about a guy who wanna help ghosts ( it's name change anime to anime like Yokai & Mushi ) and humans. So they are similar in many ways :)
Both anime are episodic and supernatural. They have a relaxing atmosphere. Though the protagonists are different, they are both able to see things that normal people can't see, mushi/spirits.
Natsume yuujinchou's story have a similiarity to mushishi.. it all about japanesse mystery story..
Both stories follow the main character, who can see strange things. Both series have the same atmosphere, though Mishishi seems to be a more mature. Both stories are warm, affecting and a little bit bittersweet.
Calm, episodic anime with supernatural aspects.
BOth anime somehow tackles the supernatural side (mushi and yokai) meeting new pwoplw along the way of their journey. Slow in pace but has lessons to give in ife.
These dramas share a slow, easy pace that really allows them to develop a nice atmosphere. Watching these shows leaves me feeling peaceful and calm.
They are both episodic. Nastume Yuujinchou centers around the main character meeting and helping a different spirit each episode. Mushishi is similar, having the main character meet and help someone with a spirit related problem each episode.
The setting is famiiar - both main heroes can see otherwordly creatures, the atmosphere is quite the same too, although theese animes still leave different impressions.
Mushishi and Natsume Yuujinchou both have many similarities. The main characters of shows are the only people that can see spirits. The MC's want to help the people and spirits throughout the series. There isn't much of a plot in both the shows but each episode is very emotional and dramatic.
Both series have an episodic nature and are slow-paced with their stories. The story of both series focuses on dealing with the problems of individual people. In Natsume Yuujinjou this is done through the Book of Friends while in Mushishi it is the mushi that inhabit people. Both series have a large deal of emotions involved and also a large amount of moral questions are raised.
Both series gives off a similar feeling in which the main protagonist is able to see supernatural beings where normal people cannot.
Although lacking a direct story line, both series has very interesting concepts and ideas that tells a different story each episode. The episodes themselves are lighthearted and has a relaxing feeling to them. The way these two series tell their stories in a surreal and unique presentation.
There are spirits involved in both series as we take a glimpse into how they behave around human beings and specifically the main protagonist. Although slow paced, the exploration of the many ideas are quite insightful to watch.
both are relaxing anime in which the main character empathizes with other characters who they meet and try to help them. main character in both anime can see things that not many other people can (mushi/youkai)
As many other people point out, this is as close to Mushishi as you can get. Both deal with Youkai/Ayakashi and are (mostly) episodic in nature, meaning there isn't necessarily a set overall plot, but a series of situations/problems where the entire story of it is contained in one episode, which Mushishi absolutely nailed. Natsume is definitely more heart-warming and emotional than Mushishi, but both will leave your heart tingling.
Both main characters can see things that normal people can't, spirits. Witch a calm and peaceful feel to it, both main characters encounter both good and bad spirits, and helping those in need. Both main characters are pretty quiet, and are the loner type. When they were children, the were thought of a freaks for seeing things no one else could see. After meeting different kinds of spirits their outlook about them and life changes. Both animes are episodic, with both good, sad, and bittersweet endings.
Both was able to features Japanese Folklore so well and interesting
Both have to do with spiritual creatures called "yokai". Both are very beautiful and imaginative anime. Highly recommend watching
Mushishi bears a certain spiritual kinship with Natsume Yuujinshou. I think of it as a more austere, reflective cousin but in truth, Mushishi can't really be compared to anything else. The main character deals with the supernatural, stories are told through an episodic format and lastly the serene and mystical atmosphere are some of the similarities between the two. The experience you get from these series don't come along very often, one of a kind.
Both are series in which ghosts or spirits exist and only certain people can see them. They are both extremely relaxing to watch, the sort of thing you'd watch an episode of before you go to sleep to give yourself a nice dream. Although Mushishi occasionally has unhappy endings and has a more wistful and dreamy atmosphere compared to Natsume Yujinchou's "smiley sunny everyone's friends lets help each other out and be happy" kind of atmosphere in which comedy is occasionally added. In my opinion occasional unhappy endings are a good thing as it adds variety, and I guess it suits the feel of the anime so don't immediately cross Mushishi out. Most of the time each episode has it's own plot line, and one arc rarely continues for more than an episode's length. In this case that also adds to the relaxing effect because you don't have to follow an intricate story line. I personally find the most relaxing animes the ones where you don't have to think. Anyway, both animes are brilliant, personally I prefered Mushishi just because I like the strange lovecraft sort of atmospheres and the protagonist is pretty interesting, unlike your generic anime hero...
main characters of these series are able to see spirits and go around solving problems. the two anime is also episodic which is smoothing and relaxing. japanese folklore
Hotarubi no Morie e is like a longer Natsume Yuujinchou episode without Nyanko-sensei.
Hotarubi no Mori e brings some of the best things about Natsume Yuujinchou in one neat 40 minute package. It is pretty much a Natsume Yuujinchou episode, sans Natsume and Nyanko-Sensei, plus the benefit of extra 20 minutes and a higher budget. That makes for a incredibly well done story with one of the sweetest (and saddest) romances I've seen in anime.
This should be a must watch for Natsume fans. If you loved the movie but never watched Natsume... well, what on earth are you waiting for?
The feeling, the art, the music, the style.
Of course watching Hotarubi is like watching Natsume Yuujinchou.
Not only they are from the same manga-ka, therefor sharing the same gorgeous art and a similar story telling as well the taste for the same genre:
those are two titles who, if you liked one of them, you can't absolutly miss to wach the another as well!
Both are sweet, delicate stories, with splendid colors and wonderful characters who'll bring you into those supernatural and fascinating worlds.
Both give you the same calm feeling while watching them.
Indeed, very highly recommended both ♥
Not only do Natsume Yuujinchou and Hotarubi no Mori e have the same original creator and similar setting, they are animated by the same studio, with the same director and even the composer is the same. Without any doubt there is more than one that these two would both be liked by the same people.
The girl, Hotaru, in Hotarubi no More e and the boy, Takashi (mostly referred to by his family name Natsume), both see demon and spirits and they both befriend them. Both the film and the series play with a melancholic feeling and the relationship between humans and spirits.
Same Mangaka, same Animation Studio, same beautiful, melancholic style.
Charming tale exploring the relationship between a human and youkai.
Hotarubi no Mori e is like the 2 episode version of Natsume Yuujinhou. Even the main characters Natsume and Jin are similiar. Also, musics, the athmosphere and animation styles are alike. I loved Hotarui no Mori e more than Natsume because there was a romantic story in it. I wish it could become longer.
Very similar feel, art, plotline
The same author, both about Youkai, the same magic style
Same mangaka, Same animation style, Same Heartwarming feeling.
The setting was seems familiar in Natsume and also a character too.
Maybe its because these two series has the same author in manga.
Not only do they share the same creator, their art style, the music, the setting and themes are similar as well. They are both touching and will probably leave you with tears.
Both are about Youkai. Both have that bittersweet feeling to it.
Hotarubi is about love while Natsume is about friendship with Youkai. If You enjoyed one of them you will enjoy the other.
Both anime are written by the same author, Yuki Midorikawa hence contains similar themes, mood, and settings.
Both series has a mystical feeling which is smooth, slow paced, serene, and natural. The music in both series are also collected and calm. Both series also involves a main protagonist dealing with supernatural beings, specifically spirits.
These two anime are both relaxing to watch that are considered rare gems.
Gin gives an extremely similar feeling to Natsume. They are both extremely soothing and relaxing to watch, although one offers a more dramatic experience.
Completely same heartwarming feeling.
Both about youkai.
Same voice actor for main male lead and similar plot about ghost spirits wandering around. The main story of Hotarubi is limited by the fact that it's movie, and so it doesn't have as much touching stories as Natusme, yet it is still very moving. Both emphasizes the importance of relationships, especially that of a close friend.
Hoturabi no Mori e is almost exactly like an episode of Natsume Yuujinchou without natsume in it. About a Girl who meets a youkai it is also extremely touching.
Similar Artwork, similar soundtrack, similar storyline. Both stories are about interaction between yōkai (supernatural monsters) and humans. Protagonists in both stories are complex and evolve in beautiful ways.
Same world with Yokai ect..
same creator, same studio. similar background.
hotarubi is like side story of natsume yuujinchou. story without natsume and madara. both telling you interaction between human and youkai..
A dip in the simplicity and tranquility in a rural landscape
through appearances in folklore,
the charm, the beauty and magic of the forest and,
the "poetry" of a wonderful Yuki Midorikawa.
Opening Theme"Issei no Sei (一斉の声; Simultaneous Voice)" by Shuhei Kita
Ending Theme"Natsu Yuuzora (夏夕空; Summer Evening Sky)" by Kousuke Atari
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SubTNT [SubTNT] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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